Category Archives : Transportation

Transportation Governance – 12 Case Studies

This note updates, verifies and adds to the information contained in Regional Transportation Governance: Selected Case Studies produced by the Greater Vancouver Transportation Authority in 2006. It contains information about 12 transportation agencies in Canada, the U.S., France, the U.K., and Finland. All of the cases are regional transportation agencies, though the scope of their responsibilities varies. Some are responsible for multi-modal transportation systems, while others READ MORE

How urban design affects our health

Research from the University of California San Diego (UCSD) has found that people in more walkable cities are more likely to be healthy. The research involved studies in 11 countries, and recommends that cities encourage walking and physical activity through: better integration of residential areas with commercial areas  building communities so that the places where people want READ MORE

New Surrey Gas Stations to Include Alternative Fuels

Surrey City Council is moving forward on a new by-law which would require all new gas stations to include alternative fuel sources such as a level-three electric vehicle charging station, compressed natural gas, hydrogen or propane. “We want to promote and advance clean technology by building the necessary infrastructure to support alternative fuel vehicles,” says Mayor READ MORE

Canadian cities considering Safety barriers on trucks

Several Canadian municipalities are looking at outfitting their trucking fleets with safety barriers. Cycling and pedestrian deaths from heavy trucks has gone down in Europe since guards have been implemented. The barriers cost approximately $1500 and Toronto councillor Glenn De Baeremaeker believes rails should be required despite the costs; “all of us accept today that READ MORE

Transferring of gas tax to municipalties would improve transit and ease congestion

Currently municipalities receive 10 cents for every dollar collected in gas taxes, but the Globe and Mail suggests that many municipal woes – from traffic congestion to crumbling infrastructure, would be fixed if the full amount were transferred. At present, “traffic congestion in the Greater Toronto Area alone costs the economy $3.3-billion in lost productivity.” READ MORE

How one New York bike lane could affect the future of cycling worldwide

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and transportation commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan established new bike lanes as part of PlaNYC, NYC’s blueprint for a sustainable city. A lawsuit recently filed against the city of New York over one particular bike lane in Brooklyn could put PlaNYC at jeopardy. As the proclaimed ‘world’s greatest city’, NYC’s management of READ MORE

The GTA region’s rise and sprawl

Ontario received international praise for Places to Grow, its strategy to reduce urban sprawl. Today however, planning decisions made in certain municipalities threaten its success. The plan gives municipalities a large amount of flexibility in attaining its goals, allowing some of them to deviate from intended responses to increased population growth. Read the full story READ MORE

Cowichan Valley, BC Issues Report Card on the Environment

The Cowichan Valley Regional District, BC, has issued a report card to measure the following areas of environmental concern: Overall Environmental Footprint, Population Growth, Biodiversity, Agriculture, Water, Climate Change, Air Quality and Waste Management. The report card is but one piece of a larger plan for building a “strong, resilient community.” Find report card here . READ MORE

Vancouver and Toronto Launch Programs to Encourage Newcomers to Ride Bikes

The Vancouver Area Cycling Coalition, with support from Vancouver Coastal Health, runs a program that teaches new immigrants how to cycle in Vancouver. A similar program, called “Culture Link”, is being launched in Toronto this June. The programs both aim to reduce stress among newcomers and engage them in new social situations. Read the full READ MORE

West Coast Environmental Law Comments on Metro Vancouver 2040 Shaping Our Future

West Coast Environmental Law expressed concerns regarding the latest draft of Metro Vancouver’s Regional Growth Strategy, entitled “Metro Vancouver 2040: Shaping Our Future” . They are concerned that the weak language in the Plan will prevent the region from reaching its goals, and recommend that the region commits to a meaningful set of commitments that will be more likely to achieve READ MORE

Toolkit to help small and mid-sized communities plan sustainable transportation

The Fraser Basin Council’s Transportation Demand Management toolkit offers advice on how to expand sustainble transportation options and reduce vehicle use in small to mid-size communities. It includes 10 case studies that show how bicycle programs, intercommunity transit, carpooling, car-sharing and parking strategies are successfully implemented in communities in B.C. Find the full toolkit here READ MORE

No mayor, no vote: UBC students criticize Translink structure

UBC students have criticized Translink’s failure to represent campus residents in transit planning processes. The UBC campus, which has a population of 11 000, is currently the second greatest transit destination in the region, and members of the UBC Alma Mater Society (AMS) are asking for an elected member of the Mayor’s Council to represent READ MORE

European Cities Commit to More Cycling

The motorization of urban environments has exacerbated road congestion, pollution, and health and safety risks. Members of the European Cyclists’ Federation are adament that this trend can be reversed, and are helping organize Velo-city 2009, a conference that will provide advice on how to make cities more cycle-friendly. The conference will also include the signing READ MORE

Regional District of Nanaimo: Why Include GHG Reduction Targets in the Regional Growth Strategy?

The District of Nanaimo has included greenhouse gas emissions targets in its Regional Growth Strategy. This decision is ideal because reducing emissions requires collaboration and cooperation, two key aspects of any Regional Growth Strategy. This move is important as it will allow for more effective, standardized management of greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption. Read READ MORE

In German Suburb, Life Goes on Without Cars

Residents of the upscale German suburb Vauban are living car-free, as part of the “smart planning” movement that is gaining popularity in Europe and the U.S. Breaking the association between suburbanites and cars will drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help combat global warming. Planners in California are currently looking to develop a car-reduced community READ MORE

Global Action Plan: Community Lifestyles Campaign

The Community Lifestyles Campagin targets the household and community level, and aims at establishing “EcoTeams” to work through the “EcoTeam Workbook”. EcoTeams are give the opportunity to become informed on topics such as waste reduction, energy efficiency and empowerment, and gain the tools necessary to act as sustainable community leaders. Read more about the campaign READ MORE

Future of the Region Sustainability Dialogues

The Future of the Region Sustainability Dialogues is the latest outreach component of the Sustainable Region Initiative. It is intended to stimulate discussion and debate among decision makers, and foster new and diverse thought on regional issues such as housing, industry, labor and immigration, drugs and crime, regional economy, energy, and agriculture. Find more information READ MORE

Want One Port Mann Bridge, or a Light Rail Metropolis?

The B.C. government intends to spend $3.1 billion rebuilding and expanding the Port Mann Bridge and connecting Highway 1 routes. Sustainable design researchers at U.B.C. found that for the same cost, the government could finance a light rail system providing connection to residents in Surrey, White Rock, Langley, and Delta. The proposed rail system would READ MORE

San Francisco to Mandate Businesses Promote Transit to Employees

San Francisco is considering a proposal that would require businesses with more than 20 employees to provide commuting alternatives to the personal vehicle. The move is an attempt to reduce air pollution in San Francisco as well as reduce GHG emissions in the city. Under the new law, businesses would be given three options to READ MORE

4 Day School Week for Rural American Students

Many rural school districts across the U.S. are considering switching to a 4-day week mainly to save on transportation costs. 100 schools in 16 states have already made the switch. One school district reports saving $65,000 on transportation alone. Other districts report better student performance and improved school attendance. Read an article about the switch over .

Healthy Communities, Sustainable Communities

The Ontario Professional Planners Institute (OPPI) has released a new report that links poor land use planning to public health issues. The report emphasizes good urban design, active transportation, and green infrastructure as keys to healthier communities. Go to the OPPI website for the summary, backgrounder, press release, and full report.